1864: “Am I The Same Poor Soul…?”

March 3, 1864.

…After they left I sat down to Romola – and I was absorbed in it. How hardened we grow “to war and war’s alarms.” The enemies’ cannon or our own are thundering in my ears – and I was dreadfully afraid some infatuated and frightened friend would come in to cheer, to comfort, and interrupt me. Am I the same poor soul who fell on her knees and prayed and wept and fainted as the first guns boomed from Fort Sumter? Continue reading

Elizabeth Van Lew: A Union Spy In The Confederate Capital

She wasn’t the only Union spy in Richmond, Virginia, but her story is worth telling because of its uniqueness. Though history has often tried to portray Elizabeth as crazy or as using a crazed persona to cover her actions, some historians are arguing against this portrayal, claiming that from sources it seems unlikely and may simply have been a degrading way to see this remarkable woman.

Either way, Elizabeth boldly supported the Union cause through subterfuge. Continue reading